Stocks and commodities staggered lower today, as escalating concerns about European debt sent Wall Street scrambling for the perceived safety of the U.S. dollar and 10-year Treasury bonds. In fact, the euro sank to an 11-month nadir against its American counterpart, breaching the key $1.30 level for the first time in nearly a year. As a result, dollar-denominated commodities like crude and gold tumbled into the red, the latter of which violated its own closely watched support levels. Meanwhile, the headlines at home provided little solace for the bulls, with Caterpillar's (CAT) relatively soft guidance adding salt to the collective blue-chip wounds. As the bearish stars aligned, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and its major market comrades extended their losing streaks to a third straight session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA – 11,823.48) gave up 131.5 points, or 1.1%, to end beneath both its 20-day and 200-day moving averages for the first time since Nov. 29. Only seven of the Dow's 30 components escaped the bears' wrath, led by Merck's (MRK) 1.6% advance. Meanwhile, Caterpillar paced the bearish majority with a 4.4% drop, and Verizon Communications (VZ) finished flat.
The S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,211.82) backpedaled 13.9 points, or 1.1%, by the time the dust settled, ending south of its own 20-day trendline for the first time this month. Finally, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP – 2,539.31) once again fared the worst of its peers, falling nearly 40 points, or 1.6%, by the close.
Turning to equities in focus, First Solar (FSLR) slashed its full-year guidance ... Goldman Sachs weighed in on both Netflix (NFLX) and eBay (EBAY) ... E*Trade Financial (ETFC) fell in parity with its monthly trading volume ... Avon Products (AVP) announced some executive-level changes ... Joy Global (JOY) took its turn in the earnings confessional ... and today's Quote of the Day comes from CNBC correspondent Jane Wells. Topping the list of the most popular words used in Americans' LinkedIn (LNKD) profiles this year was "creative." However, overusing buzzwords -- like "innovative," for instance -- on your resume could actually tell employers how uncreative you are. Plus, she adds:
"Steve Jobs was innovative, not you."
But these weren't the only headlines hitting the Street today. Click on the links below for our blog coverage of:
And, in case you missed it, Schaeffer's contributor Adam Warner offered his two cents on attractive options strategies to play amid the euro-zone debt drama. Click here to read the latest installment of our Outside the Box blog.
For today's activity in crude oil, gold futures, options, and more, turn to page 2.
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